I would certainly advise you NOT to use a 243 at 300 and 400 yards, especially on deer size game.Im on a tight budget as usual so the less expensive the better. I have a ruger 77 MII but its a compact in 308 and i dont feel super confident in it just because its so small and light. The vangaurd seems like a great deal but im hearing alot of good things from the savage edge shooters. Would 243 be enough at the 300-400 yard mark. Ive always hunted tight woods in PA so max shooting was always 60-80 yards. Im in a new hunting spot thats cleared and longer shots are available. If im not ready in time its no great loss ill just take the closer shots but i would hate to miss an opportunity due to poor preparation.